Due to COVID-19, much has been moved to a virtual format, including WSU Homecoming. But for some, participating through Zoom doesn’t sound very appealing. Students, especially freshmen, look forward to homecoming activities to have fun and meet new friends.
Several organizations, such as The Outdoor Program and Clubs and Organizations, prepared traditional activities to celebrate homecoming. The Chalk the Walk and the Hike to Mount Ogden are some of the events that occur every year.
Some homecoming activities were canceled or modified to comply with health guidelines. The football game and the traditional Skate Night for Homecoming at the Classic Fun Center were canceled.
Due to COVID-19, it seems like students are not very enthusiastic about homecoming. Throughout the evening, 39 people attended. During the first part of the event, there were ten people present, including two high school students, a dad and his two children.
Lauren Jensen, a freshman, said she attended the Chalk Walk “just to get out of the house.” Another student sighed and said she should have stayed sleeping at home.
Crysta Carruth, a sophomore at Nuames High School, said she went to the event to try to have some fun. She added that it has been boring because of COVID-19.
Student Involvement and Leadership Coordinator Erik Ashby said the Chalk the Walk event was prepared for nontraditional students, ideally letting people gather outdoors in a safe manner while following university guidelines.
While not many people participated in the Chalk Walk, more attended Weber State’s annual homecoming hike up Mount Ogden on Oct. 3. Hayley Prine, the Outdoor Program Coordinator, said they had forty attendees at the hike, a little more than last year. The forty participants were divided into small, distanced groups.
Clubs and Organizations Coordinator Heather Cimino said they haven’t seen as large a decline in homecoming participation as people might have expected, but that the C and O team knew they would have to get creative to maintain safety.
For some students, though, stay-at-home homecoming or attending virtual events can take the joy out of participating. Student Linda Johnson said she would have liked to attend a dance and a football game.
“My friends and I are not participating in homecoming activities. Weren’t in the mood,” Johnson said.
There is no doubt the pandemic has changed our lifestyles. Organizations and clubs are doing what they can to provide some fun during the epidemic.
While COVID-19 is certainly a unique circumstance, this isn’t the first year that events have been canceled due to school closures.
In the year 1918, WSU closed for three months just before classes started because of the 1918 flu pandemic, according to Weber State University Archives Coordinator Kandice Harris.
Harris also said the football team wasn’t formed until 1919 and the homecoming dance wasn’t mentioned until the 1930s.
Homecoming events may have looked different in 1918, but some similarities can be drawn between then and 2020.
Editor’s Note: Erik Ashby’s name was spelled incorrectly. The story has been updated with the correct spelling. The story was also updated to reflect the total number of attendees at the Chalk Walk from ten to 39.